Montavon, William F.

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Welfare executive; b. Scioto County, Ohio, July 14, 1874; d. Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 1959. He was the son of John Baptist and Mary (Muller) Montavon. He attended the University of Notre Dame, IN (189295), the Institut de Sainte-Croix, Paris (189597), and The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. (18971901). He was married in 1901 to Agnes Burrow, who died in 1913, and in 1942 to Leocadia Kerby. He spent his early career in South America, where he served as U.S. commercial attaché in Lima, Peru (191518), and as executive representative of the International Petroleum Company (191825). In 1925 he returned to the United States to become director of the legal department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, a post he held until 1951. His duties as legal director plunged him into problems created by religious persecution during the Mexican civil war, and for three years the status of the Catholic Church in Mexico occupied much of his time. In 1930 he accompanied the Forbes Commission to Haiti as press correspondent for the Catholic newspapers in the United States. The following year he was sent to Spain to represent Catholic interests at the constitutional assembly in Madrid. His efforts were rewarded by the Holy Father, who named him Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1945, and by St. Bonaventure College (later University), New York, which gave him its Catholic Action Medal in 1939. Montavon, an author and lecturer in the fields of health, education, and welfare, served also as consultant to the Catholic Hospital Association and adviser to the U.S. State Department on inter-American relations.

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Montavon, William F.

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